Creating a wedding budget is not the most luxurious thing to do when planning a wedding. It’s not particularly fun or exciting, but it is one of the most important wedding planning tasks you should start with. While there is no one‑size‑fits‑all budget, below are some tips to help with your wedding budget breakdown!
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1. determine your funds
Whether you’re covering the bill together or both families are chipping in, estimate your bottom line by determining who will be contributing financially to the wedding.
2. hire a planner & set a budget
Most likely, you’ve never planned a wedding before and have no clue about pricing and rates. A good planner will help you separate your wants from your needs, and prioritize your budget effectively. Not to mention, vendor referrals from an experienced planner are truly worth their weight in gold.
3. break down your wedding budget by category
Look at the big picture — what is non-negotiable? Will it be nice to have a live band, or is it a must-have? While there isn’t a cookie-cutter recipe to follow when breaking down your wedding budget, you generally shouldn’t spend more than 40% of your overall budget on venue, food, and beverages combined.
4. where not to cut corners
Consider ways to stretch your budget, but keep in mind that pricing generally correlates with experience.
Don’t DIY an aspect of your wedding if you’re not an expert — you wouldn’t try to build a house on your own without a team of professionals, so the same concept applies.
Lastly, don’t skimp on your photo & video team — there is nothing more disappointing than feeling disheartened with your wedding images.
5. beware of hidden costs
Buffer around 5% of your wedding budget for miscellaneous costs you may not consider up front: beauty treatments, seamstress services, vendor meals and tips, overtime charges, and cake cutting, corkage, or postage fees.
6. stay organized
Create a spreadsheet, or use one of the many free templates available online to keep track of your wedding expenses. A wedding planner will help you manage all your deposits and upcoming payments — for my clients, all this information is housed online in a custom client portal.